By 1979, the L.A.- based band Sparks was ready to shift directions. They teamed up with Italian disco producer extraordinaire Giorgio Moroder and began recording. The result was No. 1 in Heaven, Sparks’ first full-fledged foray into electronica. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of its original release, Sparks’ own Lil Beethoven Records released a newly remastered, 2-CD reissue of No. 1 in Heaven on March 8 that boasts six bonus tracks. A special 2-disc, color vinyl edition will be available on March 29 that follows the program CD version. Sparks’ website indicates that the first 450 LP orders from the Sparks Online Store will include a photo signed by Ron and Russell Mael.
Originally six songs long, the album produced four singles — “La Dolce Vida,” “Tryouts for the Human Race,” The Number One Song in Heaven,” “Tryouts for the Human Race,” and “Beat the Clock.” The latter reached #10 on the UK Singles Chart, while “The Number One Song in Heaven” peaked at #14 in the UK and #5 in Ireland. In the years since its release, No. 1 in Heaven has garnered acclaim from the likes of Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys, and Joy Division, who cited “The Number One Song in Heaven” as an influence for their classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
The new reissue that adds on a nearly eight-minute alternate version of “Tryouts for the Human Race,” the single edit of “The Number One Song in Heaven,” the 12″ version of “Beat the Clock,” the shortened single version of “Tryouts for the Human Race,” and two Peter Cook promotional spots for the album that were previously only available on the UK picture discs for “Tryouts for the Human Race” and “Beat the Clock.”